By Bill Hendrickson
City Councilmember Gil Cedillo has announced the winners in “High Res 2020,” a photography competition that challenged local high school students to portray the impact of COVID-19 on their families, friends, classes and communities.
Leo Phillips, a freshman at Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown L.A., took first place. Sophia Moscorro at Franklin High School in Highland Park took second place and Luis Contreras at West Adams Prep took third.
Honorable mentions went to Sky Cruz of Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights, Elias Sarmiento of Loyola High School in Pico-Union and Maria Arias of University Value Prep, also in Pico-Union.
Cedillo launched High Res 2020 in early September to provide an outlet for expression for high schoolers in his Council District 1. Nearly 200 students at six schools participated.
“Our students are going through the worst public health crisis in 100 years,” Cedillo said. “They have a lot of feelings to express” and “are looking for new opportunities to compete during this pandemic.”
There was a two-step process for judging the contest. First, a six-member panel of notable photographers chose the top three winners at each school. The panel included Luis Garza, Gary Leonard, Martha Benedict, Al Strange, Melissa Kobe and Yoon Sul.
Next, Carolyn Cole, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer at the Los Angeles Times, chose the three overall winners from among each school’s top finishers.
The top photos will be featured in the next issue of 1Voice-1Voz, the magazine of CD 1, and in the new CD 1 wall calendar. “High Res 2021” will expand to additional high schools next year.
See all 18 photos recognized by the judges here.